PM to attend inauguration of Bolsonaro, visit with Brazilian leaders; Netanyahu addresses Syria, Iran and Operation Northern Shield; IDF destroyed and sealed 2 Hezbollah tunnels; Eisenkot met with Dutch counterpart on UN peacekeeping mission in Lebanon.
Prime Minister Netanyahu will travel to Brazil this weekend and meet with President-elect Jair Bolsonaro.
The historic visit comes following Brazil’s announcement that it would follow the United States and Guatemala and move its embassy to Jerusalem. Brazil’s President-elect is a Zionist, supporter of Israel and evangelical Christian and confirmed last month “we intend to transfer the Brazilian Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Israel is a sovereign state and we shall duly respect that.”
Netanyahu confirmed on Sunday morning during his weekly cabinet meeting, “This weekend I will leave on a historic visit to Brazil. Upon my arrival I will meet with President-elect Jair Bolsonaro and later with other leaders as well.” He will also attend Bolsonaro’s inauguration alongside US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
He spoke of Israel’s rising as a “global power”, stating on Israel’s partnership with Brazil, “There are two ways to generate growth in the Israeli economy: One is to create new products and the other is to open new markets. Brazil is a huge market, almost 250 million people; the opening of this gigantic market will create new jobs in Israel and will greatly help the Israeli economy.”
On diplomatic ties with Latin America’s largest country, he spoke of a diplomatic “turnaround” as “step by step, methodically and persistently, we are turning Israel into a rising global power.”
His cabinet addressed Iran’s presence in Syria in relation to the US withdrawal of its troops. Netanyahu addressed concerns over the move, stating Sunday “The decision to withdraw 2,000 US troops from Syria will not change our consistent policy: We will continue to act against Iran’s attempts to entrench itself militarily in Syria, and to the extent necessary, we will even expand our actions there. I would like to reassure those who are concerned. Our cooperation with the US will continue in full and finds expression in many areas: Operations, intelligence and many other security spheres.”
Giving an update on Operation Northern Shield, the prime minister reported the “operation is meeting its timetable and its objectives,” confirming the destruction of Hezbollah tunnel and sealing off of another tunnel with cement on Friday. The IDF confirmed ahead of the weekend that explosions reported were the “sound of IDF soldiers destroying Hezbollah attack tunnels and a sound that will surely provide them great relief.”
IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot gave an address on IDF strategy in Herzliya on Sunday morning. He also assured the public that the US withdrawing from Syria is “significant event, but it should not be overstated,” referring to the IDF’s decades of operating “independently… including over the last few years with US and Russian forces present.” On Russia’s presence in Syria, Eisenkot stated “The Russian presence in Syria created a new situation and was an influential factor in the way we operated. The way we prepared allowed us to operate for the sake of Israel’s security interests.”
The IDF head spoke of Israel’s success against Iran and Hezbollah’s precision weaponry, as well as its “attempts to establish themselves on the Golan Heights front.” Following his speech, Eisenkot met with the Netherland’s Chief of Defense of the Armed Forces, Admiral Rob Bauer, on the UN peacekeeping forces mission in Lebanon.
Tune in for Amir’s special update on the behind the scenes of the decision to pull the US troops out of Syria and the chain reaction on Sunday at 7:30 pm Israel time. Following his update, he will give a special teaching “For Unto Us A Child Is Born”. These events will be streamed LIVE on our Youtube channel. Be sure to subscribe!